Re: New Syntax -- with an implementation

Mark Lutz (lutz@KaPRE.COM)
Thu, 2 Jun 94 10:11:05 MDT

There have been a variety of very good posts (and some private
emails) giving reasons both for and against the delimeter syntax
change. The most prominent is advanced editor functionality.
Good. This is the kind of discussion we need.

In case the main point of my post about the proposed change
was lost in the translation, it's just this:

I want you to tell me the WHY, not the WHAT.

i.e., before we start implementing changes, we need to work out their
full ramifications, benefits, etc. [Some] computer scientists are
notoriously bad at the WHY...

I don't have time to respond much more on this thread. So what I
suggest is this (if Guido concurs): all the proponents of syntax
change should chronicle the reasons both for and against the change,
and submit a new RFD document, which ONLY gives the REASONS for the
change, and makes NO mention of a specific implementation.

If we can reach a consensus on the REASONS, then we can start
talking about the exact implementation. But I suspect that
a consensus is unreachable on this issue, in which case it's
Guido's call.

Personally, I still don't see the utility in allowing 'end'
delimeters if you also require indentation rules to be followed
(you might as well use 'end' comments, and Guido's,
and doing so adds 1 more syntax rule for new users to absorb.
I don't think a language should be changed to accomodate an editor.
And allowing indentation to be escaped would kill the language, imho.
If there is a solution (assuming there's valid motivation...), I
suggest it should be external to the language itself. That's 1 vote.
If you differ, organize your evidence.

As has been pointed out to me in the past by others on this group
(indeed, some of those proposing this change)-- the burdon of proof
rests on those suggesting a change to the language.

Mark L.